Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 - Year of Kindness

After being inspired by the kindness exhibited by so many in the wake of the terrible tragedy of the Fallen West Webster Firefighters as well as Ann Curry's 26 Acts of kindness as a result of the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy, I've decided to dedicate 2013 as the Year of Kindness and hope to inspire others to do the same!   I really think it works best when you see examples of others doing acts of kindness, so I will share a few recent examples from our own lives to get things started.  

Just this past weekend I have seen so many acts of kindness online from folks paying for rooms for firefighters visiting from out of town to attend this weekend's services to people giving food gift cards, donating cases of water, providing hand warmers for those waiting outside in the cold, paying for airfare, driving to neighboring cities to pick up individuals without transportation, monetary donations, people volunteering their time, paying for dinner of first responders out at area restaurants, providing coffee/donuts, etc etc etc.  The list goes on and on.

That is what inspired me to put together a donation challenge, which resulted in over $400 going to a memorial fund to the family and children of one of the fallen firefighters.  Thanks again to all that participated!  It made me feel good to help, but made me feel better to have others join in. 

When you change your attitude to one of kindness and giving, it changes your whole outlook.  For instance, when we went to the mall to return something on Saturday, we were waiting for the spot of someone pulling out and had our signal on.  After he was almost out, someone came around the corner from another aisle and was about to pull in, it was clearly my spot to take and normally I'd slide right in, but that time I waived her on in.  Despite the fact that she had a very angry look on her face when she realized I was already there waiting for the spot, it made me feel good to let her have it and it didn't cost a thing!

And you don't have to go far to get started.  After getting home and having dinner, I was motivated to actually put away the dishes, load them up and store the leftovers.  These may be normal activities for most folks, but the wifey spoils me when it comes to the kitchen.  She's a great cook and since we moved in August and based on the fact that I had to ask her where several items go, I'm pretty sure I haven't loaded/unloaded the dishwasher yet.  I know, I know, bad husband.  But based on the change in attitude and the fact that she had broken her weekend cooking strike to make chili, I was motivated to do an act of kindness at home as well and it was appreciated.  

The wifey mentioned just the other day that two weeks ago when she was ordering a hot dog for lunch, she ordered an extra and gave it to a homeless person close by and he was very appreciative.  She also provided a gift card to a co-worker that is a single mom with 3 children for the holidays.  Additionally she always gets very thoughful gifts for co-workers, contributes towards group gifts for some that cannot afford or choose not to contribute and goes the extra mile to help smooth confrontations in her office to keep the peace. 

Those are just some recent examples from our personal lives.  I also spent a good amount of time on the 26 Acts Facebook page and also looked at a bunch more examples on her NBCnews article explaining the origin of the idea.  I needed some new ideas myself and will include a few more examples below that I liked and could see myself trying out.  

What I'd really like are some more examples from you guys.  I just got an email from my sister Jen that they just returned (yesterday) from delivering a few dozen donuts to the FireStation that a close friend of her husband works at.  Great job and so excited to see more acts of kindness underway!

To get things started I included some picture examples that I liked below from those that Ann Curry posted. 

Since many of us are new to this idea, I'm really looking for fun/creative ideas that you've heard of or participated in.  I know Jen S will have a bunch of ideas, cause she has been participating for quite a while.  On her recent trip across the country for the holidays, her plan was to forgo gifts for herself and her husband and instead pay it forward by paying for meals for others along the way, etc. 

I'm going to utilize the Path To Riches Facebook Page to post all acts of kindness.  So please, if you feel comfortable, share any acts of kindness that you do or witness on that page.  If you would like to remain anonymous, email me to chris"@"thepathtoriches.com or drop an anonymous comment on this post and I'll share them.  And if you can, include pictures.  I think the more we share, the more ideas other will get and it will have a snowball effect.  It's easy to feel generous around the holidays when you have a few extra days off and are in the festive mood, but through our efforts we'll keep it going through 2013 and beyond.  LET'S DO THIS!  

Cleaning the snow off of someone's car

Envelope left in a cart with $ or gift card and/or note

Paying for a meter ahead of time or putting change in an expire meter


Mock family said...

Those are some great ideas. I love the ones that don't cost money too like the cleaning snow off car, that would be a great surprise. I look forward to getting into this once Hadley settles in a bit. I may even take one extra shift on night duty so James can sleep (no promises :) )

Chris said...

That's the spirit, lots don't have to cost $$, we just need to share some more creative ideas!

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